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tonight on "nightline," race against time. every second counts in the aftermath of haiti's catastrophe. but amid such widespread death and destruction, the prayers of one american family are answered. robin roberts joins us with an earthquake miracle. and, brick by brick. tonight, our cameras are with one rescue team during their frantic search. they can hear their survivors, speak to them, even see them. but can they save them? plus, hell on earth. no water, food or medical supplies. no home to sleep in. and tension on the treatments, rising. how long until good will gives way to desperation? a special edition of "nightline," after the quake,
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starts right now. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, martin bashir and cynthia mcfadden in new york city, this is "nightline," january 14th, 2010. >> good evening, i'm cynthia mcfadden. darkness has fallen once again over haiti's destruction. another day of chaos and scrambling to get relief to the millions who need it. the devastation is vast, the ef 50,000 people. others fear it could go higher. tonight, as u.s. troops head for the quake zone, there are new security concerns. reports of bodies being used to block roads and looting, a ingl. an already fragile nation pushed closer to the brink. but today, we begin with a story of hope. an iowa couple unable to reach anyone at their adopted daughter's orphanage in haiti, left to imagine the very worst
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for her. robin roberts has this report. >> reporter: yesterday, we introduced you to the poulter family. matt and amanda. their five children, and the haitian child they had just adopted, myaester. >> she's four. she turned four in august. she's very sweet. >> reporter: but mya was still at the orphanage in port-au-prince, waiting for her u.s. passport so they could take her home, when the earthquake struck. for three years, the poulters have been in the process of adopting her. traveling back and forth to haiti. they were hoping that in just a few weeks, they would. >> mya is now legal little our daughter. however, and if we were in haiti we'd be able to bring her home, but we're in the final stages now where we need to get the authorization to get a passport. and then we can bring her home. >> it was very scary to see all the communication down in haiti and just not knowing and still not knowing if she's safe and
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the other children at the orphanage are safe. >> reporter: today, armed with directions from the pault poulte went in search for the orphanage for the little girl. and here it is. outside, mya poulter, frightened, but safe. we reached amanda by skype at home in hello, this is robin. mandy, i am looking into the eyes, well, i can't see the eyes because she's sleeping right now. she was putting up a little bit of a fuss earlier, but she's -- she looks well. >> you found her? >> y >> reporter: we found her. >> it's her? >> reporter: we definitely found her.
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i'm looking at her right now. i'm looking at her right now. >> yes? >> reporter: yes. she's okay. she's not injured. >> oh, thank you! thank you so much. is she okay? is she hurt or -- is she all right? >> she's okay. she's not injured. i don't see any injuries whatsoever. nothing, no broken bones. she's been running around a little bit. >> okay. >> reporter: her lungs work really well. she was crying up a storm earlier, but as i said, that's totally understandable. but no. no injuries. >> oh, thank you. thank you so much. >> reporter: she's ready to go home to iowa, mandy. she's ready to go home. >> okay. oh -- the orphanage is okay? is the orphanage okay? >> reporter: they have -- there's a box of supplies that just arrived. we're going to leave all the water and food that we have in our car. we're going to leave it with them. and i promise you, as long as we are here on the ground, we're going to make sure that they
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have the water and food that they need. but they do need help. they absolutely need help. >> are -- are the other kids okay? >> reporter: all the children -- they were up on the second floor, and somehow they got out and somebody was watching over them. but they've been sleeping outside ever since, mandy, so -- we got to do something. >> okay. thank you so much. there have been so many prayers for those kids, so -- god was watching over them and -- thank you so much. >> reporter: we asked amanda if there were any messages she would like us to convey to mya. >> can you tell her that mommy and daddy love her and that we'll be down there as soon as we can to bring her home. give her a hug and tell her mommy and daddy -- there were some pictures down there taped by her bed. i don't know if they're there. but just say mom and dad will come as soon as we can and bring her home. >> reporter: your mommy and daddy love you very much.
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they're going to come and get you as soon as they can. so you just hang on. okay? >> we've been wracking our brains for the past two days and nights on how to get somebody down there to find out if she's okay. thank you a million thanks to everybody in haiti, who's helped in this in any way, because we -- just a huge relief to know that she's okay. and that she's safe. i guess -- i'm thinking of her actually, imagining her in my held right now sleeping in her crib there so, yes, thank you. thank you so much. sounds like god watched over the orphanage and everyone there, so -- that's better news than we could have ever imagined. thank you. >> reporter: later, amanda called matt, who had reluctantly left on a brief business trip. >> "nightline" called, they were standing outside the orphanage, and no kids were there -- they said they couldn't find the kids. they skyped about five minutes later, and they were standing,
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and mya was in the crib sleeping, and they're all okay. >> reporter: matt and amanda were not the only people in the small town in iowa waiting for news. two other families in town are waiting to adopt four other children. >> we just wanted to know how they were. given the location, we thought they might be okay, because they weren't that close to the epicenter, but they still are in port-au-prince, and, yeah, so many phone calls and so much encouragement from people wondering how they were, but we had no news. >> reporter: and word that mya and the other children were apparently safe spread quickly. >> she'll be 9 next week. >> reporter: like the poulters, tracy and les fuller and dave and andre ya van der of had waited two days to get any news. >> we couldn't believe the news truck was outside of the
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orphanage and then, when they actually saw the children and confirmed who they were -- just -- it was just such a weight off our shoulders. we're so happy they're alive. we just want to get them home. >> that's her. >> she looks great. she doesn't look hurt at all. she looks wonderful. >> reporter: but as night fell, for the third time since this terrible earthquake, the poulters were able to go to sleep tonight knowing their daughter is safe. >> our thanks to robin roberts. ray of hope amid so much destruction. when we come back, breaking news from a frantic search effort. we just learned an american woman has been pulled alive from the rubble, and our dan harris is there. for the first time in history,
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franti frantic rescue efforts are
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ongoing tonight in haiti. in the past few moments, rescue and search teams have had a series of major breakthroughs in the ruins of the hotel montana. first, a large group of americans were just located beneath the rubble, as many as seven people, and then, another woman, also buried in the collapsed hotel, who rescuers had been inching forwards throughout the day, was finally within reach. dan harris and our team have been hat the hotel since morning. >> reporter: tonight, a french search and rescue team brought american sarla chang out of the rubble from the hotel montana where she spent the last two days trapped along with as many as four to six other americans. she was chipper, despite her ordeal, snacking on a cookie and thanking her rescuers. >> thank you all for saving my life. >> reporter: thank you for saving her life. you doing all right right now?
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was it -- how bad was it in there? >> very, very bad. >> reporter: very bad? the ongoing rescue of the group of americans comes on top of two other intense rescue efforts that we've been tracking all dale here at the hotel montana. >> sarah? >> reporter: it started early this morning when search and rescue teams from virginia found sarah, a haitian accountant buried under five stories of the collapsed hotel, where she was working when the quake hit. >> she's alive and she is talking to us. we're working two different directions, trying to find the best access to get to her. >> reporter: this is what the hotel montana looked like before the earthquake. now, it is a mountain of crushed concrete, where bodies, dozens of them, are everywhere. but amid the wreckage and carnage, there are actually three simultaneous search and rescue efforts going on. one of them is for a 7-year-old boy named illey. chris is his father.
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must be the worst days of your life. >> worst days, biggest nightmare. i cannot describe it. you know, i'm just waiting for them to get out. >> reporter: and is he okay? >> we're going to find out. >> reporter: how do you -- how do you keep it together during something like this? >> just because i'd rather be a help than cause panic. >> reporter: sometimes it pays off. they freed this u.n. security officer today. he actually walked out of the rubble. >> i love footing. i was laying down on the floor. that was it. >> reporter: often, though, the work is simply grueling and gruesome. we watched the team from fairfax work in the remains of the montana today surrounded by dead fish from the hotel's ornate pools and a corpse they dragged out of the rubble.
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death is ubiquitous here in the city of port-au-prince. we got our first good look at the place in daylight today with our driver, p.j. what is it like for you to drive through the streets of your own country and see this mess? >> well, i can't cry anymore, man. >> reporter: walking through downtown port-au-prince is like a tour of hell. got people walking along with all of their worldly belongings, crumpled buildings everywhere and bodies lining the streets, including agonizingly small bodies. p.j. says if aid does not get here soon, things could get ugly. >> haiti, we're used to this, because this country has never been stable. >> reporter: as we go on the air tonight, not only are the americans being pulled out of the reception area at the hotel montana, but sarah, the haitian accountant, buried under five stories, she is starting to make her way out, as well. for "nightline," this is dan
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harris. >> and more good news. another american, richard santos of washington, d.c., has just been pulled from the rubble at the hotel montana. our thanks to those rescue teams as they continue the search effort. and our thanks to dan harris and his team, as well. when we come back, from the search efforts, to scenes of desperation as tragedy turns to anger. [ robin ] my name is robin. i am a wife. i am a mom... and i was a pack a day smoker for 25 years. i do remember sitting down with my boys, and i'm like, "oh, promise mommy you'll never ever pick up a cigarette." and brian looked at me at eight years old and said, "promise me you'll quit." i had to quit. ♪ my doctor gave me a prescription for chantix, a medication i could take and still smoke,
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while it built up in my system. [ male announcer ] chantix is a non-nicotine pill. in studies, 44% of chantix users were quit during weeks 9 to 12 of treatment, compared to 18% on sugar pill. it's proven to reduce the urge to smoke. seeing how chantix worked, i wasn't so afraid to try quitting again. [ male announcer ] talk to your doctor about chantix and a support plan that's right for you. some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice agitation, hostility, depression or changes in behavior, thinking or mood that are not typical for you, or if you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. talk to your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which can get worse while taking chantix. some people can have allergic or serious skin reactions to chantix, some of which can be life threatening. if you notice swelling of face, mouth, throat or a rash stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away. tell your doctor which medicines you're taking as they may work differently when you quit smoking.
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chantix dosing may be different if you have kidney problems. the most common side effect is nausea. patients also reported trouble sleeping and vivid, unusual or strange dreams. until you know how chantix may affect you, use caution when driving or operating machinery. chantix should not be taken with other quit-smoking products. ♪ my benjamin, he helped me with the countdown. "ben, how many days has it been?" "5 days, mom. 10 days, mom." i think after 30 days he got tired of counting. [ male announcer ] talk to your doctor to find out if prescription chantix is right for you.
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according to experts, the first 72 hours after a disaster are critical for rescue efforts. that window is quickly closing. there is so much to do, and so little that is working yet. the roads are blocked, supplies stalled, and while there are some stories of hope and survival, the tragedy is simply inescapable. kate snow toured the devastation. >> reporter: cynthia, good
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evening. it is as if port-au-prince had a big bulls eye on it. as we were driving in, what you notice is on the outskirts you see very little damage, and then as you move closer and closer to the center of the city, suddenly, you start to see cracked walls, slight bits of damage and then, all at once, it hits you. the visuals of the destruction and the smell of death. they were almost invisible. two bodies covered in blankets in the middle of the road. two women who were injured inside a nearby church and couldn't find medical help. >> they were in the church praying when the earthquake start and they bring them to this clinic to get medical assistance, and they died. >> reporter: we went in search of that church and found a crumbled ruin. the survivors item us two americans were killed. the roof collapsed when the earthquake hit during a prayer service. maybe a dozen more bodies are still in the rubble. they can't be sure.
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rosanna wanted desperately to go inside and say good-bye to her husband, her mother and father. friends and neighbors held her back. there is desperation at every turn. even the smallest things now are a headache. hundreds of people in line at one of the few open gas stations. as we started enteri ining this neighborhood, we noticed a stench and bodies laid out along the side of the road. they're actually burying them themselves on a hillside, not even a proper cemetery. this is your mother? >> yeah, it's my mother. >> reporter: jean scott told us he would bury his mother there because he didn't want her put in a mass grave. as we drove up the mountain, a steady stream of people trying to leave, walking with suitcases perched on their heads. at this intersection, there are actually bodies blocking the
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street on the corner there. and we're right next to a gas station which, as you can see, has sort of turned into a hospital. they don't have anywhere to take the victims that they've just pulled out. she is 52 years old with a broken leg. my colleague grabbed some water and snacks to give her, but it's not enough. she tells us if she doesn't get out of here tonight, she's going to die. you okay? the children we see everywhere understand that life has forever changed. what happened to your house? and so many ask us to send a message. this woman wants the father of her 4-year-old, who is in the u.s. army, to come take him away. this man has family on the east coast. you want to tell your parents that you're all right. where do your parents live? >> new york. >> reporter: in new york? >> boston, new jersey. >> reporter: nowhere on our journey today did we see anyone delivering medical care. we counted at least five devastated hospitals, and those
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that are still operating are turning people away with less life threatening conditions. can you see? can you see me? he can see, but his eyes are nearly swollen shut. >> we live another week with the amount of people that die right now, nobody will be able to stay here. >> reporter: valerie used to live in brooklyn. now, he and his family are sharing food out of a tin sppot living in a makeshift camp. >> i can't be in the house. my walls are cracked. >> reporter: they consider themselves the lucky ones. last night, he watched as seven dump trucks picked up bodies right here. this father of four used to work for the u.s. embassy. what will you do now? how will you support your family? you have food? >> no, no. >> reporter: not enough. at dusk, we find one hopeful story. at a vocational school, where
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more than 200 students have been crushed, rescue teams from belgium have heard the faint voice of a woman alive after two days under the rubble. it was a glimmer of hope, but just as we were leaving that scene tonight, they told us that they're taking a break for the night and coming back in the morning. cynthia? >> so, kate, at what point does the desperation, the despair, the fear, the lack of food and water, at what point does that turn to violence? what's the security situation? >> reporter: well, that is certainly a concern. i'll sail this. we were out all day today, and we were amazed at how much people were working together, being friendly toward each other, friendly toward us. there was no animosity at all, in terrible, terrible conditions. people seem to be banding together. that said, there are concerns about nighttime. i heard reports of some looting. but so far, things seem to be holding together. i would say the biggest concern is as if this goes on for a
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couple more days and they don't get the assistance they need, that's when you're going to see frustration start to bubble over, because we're already getting hints of that, people angry that they're not getting help. si >> kate snow, thank you. we'll be right back. on the show tonight, evangeline lilly, katharine mcphee, and caite upton learns about psychics
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president obama has been aggressively monitoring the tragedy in haiti. his most recent briefing, less than two hours ago.

ABC January 14, 2010 11:35pm-12:05am EST

News/Business. Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran, Martin Bashir. In-depth reporting on news and events with Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran and Martin Bashir. New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Haiti 10, Us 8, U.s. 4, Dan Harris 3, Robin Roberts 3, Robin 3, Sarah 3, New York 3, Geico 2, Mya 2, Mandy 2, Copenhagen 2, Iowa 2, Hotel Montana 2, Cynthia Mcfadden 2, Chantix 2, Montana 2, Paris 2, Valerie 1, Rosanna 1
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